Health officials concerns about falling childhood vaccination rates

Health officials concerns about falling childhood vaccination rates

Health officials are alarmed by the declining immunisation rate in Barbados and are making efforts to boost vaccine coverage. 

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Jerome Walcott spoke about the worrying trend on Friday, March 15, during the 2024 Estimates debates. 

He reported that the falloff in childhood immunisation, especially Measles, Rubella and Mumps (MMR) was a “major concern”.

“Currently, in Europe and North America, there is a resurgence of measles, so this is something we have to be concerned about, bearing in mind that the Cricket World Cup is coming here in a couple of months,” the Health Minister indicated. 

Chief Nursing Officer Annastacia Jordan added that the Ministry of Health is working in the polyclinics to improve the vaccination statistics, which have dipped since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We have put a programme in place where polyclinics are now going to be open on the weekends so that we can encourage mothers with children who have been defaulters because we recognise we have had a long list of defaulters over the last three years due to COVID and the vaccine hesitancy.”

“We are also making public service announcements starting on Monday [March 18] to raise public awareness of the importance of vaccine use and help the public understand that vaccines do save lives,” Jordan disclosed. 

She noted that the Ministry’s new mobile clinic, which aims to improve public access to primary health care, will also assist. 

  • PublishedMarch 17, 2024

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